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Pragya Thakur in Defence Ministry panel led by Rajnath, Congress objects

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New Delhi: A controversy erupted after Malegaon blast accused and BJP MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur was nominated to the parliamentary consultative committee of the Ministry of Defence. The Congress on Thursday hit out at the Narendra Modi-led government, saying, it was irony that such a person has been given place instead of opting for clean leaders from its flock.

Congress Secretary Pranav Jha said, “It is irony that such a person has been named in the Defence panel by the government.”

Jha said such people are not given places in other parties but the BJP has brought her in.

“Bringing such people, against whom the cases are going in court is not good for democracy. Everything is not guided by the Constitution but some decisions are taken on moral grounds too,” the Congress leader said.

“The BJP had won 303 seats and they have multiple options and many of whom are clean, with no cases against them. They should have been nominated in the Defence panel,” Jha added.

The Congress leader’s remarks came after the government nominated Thakur in the 21-member parliamentary consultative committee of the Ministry of Defence led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The government nominated Thakur in the panel on October 31 this year.

Thakur, who defeated Congress heavyweight Digvijaya Singh in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year had stirred controversy on a number of occasions in run up to Lok Sabha elections.

She had landed in a major controversy when she called Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, a patriot.

The BJP had issued a show cause notice to Pragya over the remarks.

Thakur had also stirred controversy by saying that then Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 terror attack because of her “curse”.

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Elderly couple found dead murdered with throats slit in Lucknow

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Lucknow: An elderly couple was found dead murdered in their residence here with their throats slit under Saadatganj police station limit on Thursday.

Additional Director General (Lucknow Zone) S.N. Sabat said Hilal Ahmad (70), who owned chikankari stores, and his wife Bilkis (65) had been living in the rented house in Saadatganj area for over 30 years.

The couple has a daughter, Sehar, who is a dentist and lives in Australia.

Sabat said: “Surgical gloves and tea cups have been seized from the scene. It indicates the possibility of an acquaintance being involved in the double murder. The motive though is not clear yet.”

Forensic experts have said that more than two persons, who were familiar to the place, had visited the couple. They ruled out a robbery attempt.

Inspector General (Lucknow Range) S.K. Bhagat said the couple’s throats had been slit with sharp-edged weapons, which required a certain degree of physical proximity and hence, indicated the possibility of acquaintances being involved.

Shakur, who lives in the neighbourhood and owns a medicine store, told reporters he had neither heard screams nor did he see any stranger go in or come out of the house.

“I saw the door to Ahmad’s house wide open. I sent Salim (of Dabeerudaullah Phatak in Chaupatiya) inside. He saw the bodies and we informed the police,” Shakur said.

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